How Lessons from Other Industries Lead to Innovation
What does a powerhouse entertainment company have to teach us about lead generation?
Well, at least one group of researchers has found that learning from other industries when facing a problem leads to greater innovation. Learning from other industries leads to greater innovation by bringing new perspectives and knowledge to a problem.
That’s because people who are versed in these other fields can bring a different set of knowledge and ideas to the table, and are less likely to unconsciously limit themselves to the existing solutions that are common in the field you’re working in.
The researchers put that theory to the test in Integrating Problem Solvers from Analogous Markets in New Product Ideation. For the study, they recruited a diverse group of participants who engaged in activities that required safety gear: roofers, carpenters, and inline skaters. They asked the group to explore how to make safety gear more comfortable for each activity.
The results showed that each group of participants was more effective at thinking of novel solutions for fields other than their own.
What Can a Comic Book Publisher Teach Us About Lead Generation?
So what can marketers learn from Marvel’s success in generating leads? Let’s explore the strategies and tactics that made Marvel a household name and how they can be applied to lead generation in the modern age.
Try New Things
Stan Lee wasn't afraid to do things differently (partly because he was tired of the job anyway). This led him to discover many new ways to create and market engaging comics that readers loved.
Apply this to your lead generation campaigns by testing new content formats, strategies, and tools (e.g., website visitor identification).
Develop Relatable Characters
Rather than stick with the dull, one-dimensional characters that were popular with children at the time, Lee decided to take a different approach and wrote stories that he was personally interested in. He introduced complex, realistic characters who had relatable problems and flaws. This was a departure from the typical perfect, untouchable superheroes that were commonly portrayed in comics at the time.
Apply this to your lead generation campaigns by creating an authentic persona for their brand, rather than presenting a perfect image that may not resonate with their target audience.
Find out who your customers are and what they care about. Build your brand around that.
Build a Shared Universe
With artist Jack Kirby, Lee created the Fantastic Four, which quickly gained popularity. This led to the creation of many more characters and titles, including the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and the X-Men. Lee also worked with other artists like Bill Everett and Steve Ditko to create Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and the extremely successful Spider-Man, all of which existed in the same shared universe.
Collaborate with Your Team
Most comic publishers would have the writer write the story first. Then, the artist would draw the panels based on that script. Lee was too busy to write full scripts. Instead, he developed the Marvel Method. Lee would meet with an artist and give them an overall summary of the story, then the artist would draw the comic and leave notes for Lee to add the dialogue and sound effects afterward.
Apply this to your lead generation campaigns by trusting your team and delegating what you can.
Don’t micromanage your team. Give them an overall idea of what needs to be accomplished and allow them to come up with creative ways to achieve it.
Engage with Your Customers
In addition to the characters and storylines, Lee also revolutionized how comics engaged with their readership. He included a credit panel on each story and provided regular updates on staff and upcoming storylines, creating a sense of community between fans and creators. He also wrote a monthly column and signed off with his trademark motto “Excelsior!”, fostering a personal connection with readers.
Apply this to your lead generation campaigns by creating opportunities for your customers to engage with your brand.
Build a sense of community through social media, email marketing, and other interactive tactics. Create spaces where your customers can interact with each other and with representatives of your company to cocreate value.
Implement More Innovative Lead Generation Tactics
Within the pages of Marvel Comics lies a story of success that can teach us all valuable lessons in lead generation. From the creation of relatable characters to building a shared universe and engaging with fans, Marvel’s strategies and tactics are a masterclass in thinking outside the box.
But that’s not all! The Marvel Method, along with the power of collaboration, can be applied to lead generation and help marketers increase their chances of success.